Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) has appointed three new staff members for its Rome Cartoon Network Italy office. Jaime Ondarza has been named marketing manager and will oversee the establishment of the Cartoon Network brand in Italy. Previous, Ondarza worked for international advertising agency Young & Rubicam. Andrea Castellari joins as sales director and will be in charge of the development of all commercial activities relating to Cartoon Network's channel and Website as well as work to strengthen the co-operation with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
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J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created a Godzilla-themed promo for ABC's TV series SPIN CITY, THE DREW CAREY SHOW and WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE? "It all started last May with a call from Michael Benson, senior vice president (advertising and promotion) and Alan Cohen, executive vice president (marketing, advertising and promotion) for ABC-TV (LA), on the referral of Fred Seibert (former president of Hanna-Barbara)," said animation director J.J. Sedelmaier. "They wanted a cool animation spot for one of these shows to break through the clutter and attract attention.
Vancouver-based Natterjack recently completed 19-minutes of animation for Cartoon Network's "Scare-A-Thon Sweepstakes" Halloween promotion, featuring characters from SCOOBY-DOO and COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG. The overall project involved the design and animation of 16 1-minute bumpers and 3 1-minute ads. The promos have the cast of both shows telling ghost stories, which frighten Scooby and Courage. Viewers, after witnessing the two dog's reactions to the various scary tales, are encouraged to call in and vote for the 'scardiest' dog.
Nothing Real announced recently that their popular compositing tool Shake is now available on the Linux operating system. Version 2.3 is the company's first release to support the Linux platform, making Shake available on Windows NT, IRIX and Linux operating systems. The new release, which was Beta-tested by Cinesite Europe on the Linux platform, includes several new features and improvements. New color correction tools allow artists to color match different elements of source material quickly and easily. In addition, the new tools allow for selective color replacement.
Veteran Fox Kids executive Maureen Smith has been named the new president of Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Network. Smith had been serving as the interim president after Rich Cronin left the position in May. Previously, Smith served as executive vice president of Fox Family Channel and general manager of Fox Kids Network. "Maureen's background in programming, marketing research and promotions make her the perfect candidate to lead both networks into distinct and top performing entertainment outlets," said chairman and CEO of Fox Family Worldwide, Haim Saban.
Lucas Learning Ltd., a developer of interactive entertainment and educational software, has named Craig Southard as their new director of development. Southard joins Lucas Learning from Mondo Media, an online content creator, where he served as executive producer. Previously, he spent 15 years as an applications developer for the New Media market.
DreamWorks' Home Video is set to release on VHS and DVD the follow-up to its film, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, entitled -- JOSEPH: KING OF DREAMS. Hitting stores on November 7, 2000, the film chronicles the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. The epic adventure features the voice talents of Ben Affleck (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, ARMAGEDDON), Mark Hamill (STAR WARS), Steven Weber (AT FIRST SIGHT, TV's WINGS) and Judith Light (TV's WHO'S THE BOSS?). KING OF DREAMS also features five new songs from the singing talents of Jodi Benson, David Campbell and Grammy Award winner Maureen McGovern.
The 2000 Awards Ceremony and Closing Night Party of the 17th Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival was held Sunday, October 22, 2000 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Mayer Education Center. The event was hosted by director/actor Harold Ramis (BEDAZZLED, GROUNDHOG DAY, GHOSTBUSTERS). The Chicago International Children's Film Festival is the largest competitive festival of films for children in North America. This year's Festival screened 210 films from over 40 countries, including 36 world premieres. Below is a list of the animation winners.
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SCARY MOVIE continues to do well internationally with other thrillers and chillers claiming victories around the globe. In France, SCARY debuted in first place with a gross of $5.36 million. Down to #6, THE CELL captured $568,287, increasing its French cume to $1.78 million. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON jumped in at #7, grossing $560,303 thus elevating its French cume to $6.3 million. THE ROAD TO EL DORADO made its French premiere in eighth with a gross of $473,842. In Mexico, SCRAY MOVIE also claimed the top spot with a gross of $1.4 million, advancing its cume to $3.72 million.
AtomFilms and Lucas Online are joining forces to launch The STAR WARS Fan Film Network, an official Website for STAR WARS-inspired fan work. AtomFilms is now accepting submissions of STAR WARS parodies and documentaries for consideration to showcase on the site. The STAR WARS Fan Film Network will launch later this year as a premier spotlight within www.atomfilms.com. Participants will have access to a library of audio clips including Darth Vader breathing, the lightsaber wave and Rebel blaster fire, to incorporate into their own original works.
On Monday, November 6, 2000, German children's TV producer and rights buyer TV Loonland announced that it expects annual sales to top DM127 million (US$55.9 million) for 2000. This report is almost four times its original estimate of DM32.7 million ($14.4 million) when the German company went public in March. It's pretax profit is estimated to be DM25.5 million ($11.2 million), increased from DM18.6 million ($8.2 million). TV Loonland attributes the growth to its recent international acquisitions, including the purchase of France's Salsa Distribution and U.K. production studio Telemagination.
* Wednesday, December 13, 2000. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Toronto Animated Image Society will be hosting a stop-motion seminar. Todd Peterson will be conducting the event. Peterson has worked for Cuppa Coffee and Will Vinton studios. The event will take place at 8 pm. For more information contact Patrick Jenkins at: 54 Austin Terrace, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1Y6, Canada; Tel.: (416) 533-2440; Fax: (416) 533-0508; E-mail: email@example.com; and Web: www.interlog.com/~pjenkins.
* Saturday, December 16 - Sunday, December 24, 2000. Puchon, South Korea.
The 2nd PISAF festival includes an Animation Film Competition, as well as exhibitions, special events and workshops (Digital Animation, Clay Animation, PinScreen Animation). For more information contact PISAF 2000 at: 2Fl. Boksago Cultural Center, 394-2 Sand 1 dong, Wonmi-gu, Puchon, Kyonggi-do 420-031, Korea; Tel.: ++ 8 32 320-3105; or Fax: ++ 82 32 325-2072.
Urban Vision is releasing director Yoshiaki Kawajiri's WICKED CITY on DVD. Based on a novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi, the film chronicles the uneasy alliance between Earth and the Black World. The DVD will feature character biographies, an interview with Kawajiri, the theatrical trailer and English and Japanese language tracks. The release will retail for US$29.95.
Warner Home Video (WHV) and Comedy Central are set to release three new SOUTH PARK videos and two new DVDs on November 7, 2000. The "Christmas in South Park" video will include the "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" and "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson" episodes as well as Part I of the much talked about British documentary GOIN' DOWN TO SOUTH PARK. The "Best of South Park" video will include "Chinpoko Mon" and "Rainforest Schmainforest" and the Part II of the documentary.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has wrapped on a new spot for Novartis Nutrition Mexico. The 20-second spot promotes the C-1000-C, a supplement that combines Vitamin C and calcium, and benefits the respiratory system, teeth and bones. TOPIX/Mad Dog used a 2D-animation style completed in 3D. TOPIX/Mad Dog producer Diana D'Amelio explains, "The hand-drawn color-washed characters introduce the new vitamin in an entertaining, humorous and informative way by showing kids in various stages of play demonstrating the benefits of the product." Tyrone McFadden directed the animation for TOPIX/Mad Dog.
A.Film Copenhagen has finished up a new 30-second commercial with Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. The spot is part of a new European revisioning campaign for the Tony the Tiger character. In the commercial, Tony wears a handkerchief on top of his head and makes hip-hop type street-smart signs with his hands. A.Film combined traditional cel animation with live-action. Craig Frank served as the animation director and Easy Film's Thomas Buck directed the live-action. The spot was produced for ad agency Leo Burnett.
Uri Geller, world-renowned psychic entertainer and author, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court against Nintendo for unauthorized use of his name on Pokemon cards and related materials. The lawsuit demands that the Koyto, Japan-based company stop using Geller as a character on its Pokemon cards and pay substantial general and punitive damages.
Harvey Entertainment and Hartbreak Films are teaming up to develop a new live-action TV series for the WB based on the cartoon character Richie Rich. The show, however, will place a grown up Richie in college adapting to his new life as "the richest kid in the world" in a more normal environment. The project is a plan to strengthen WB's Friday night line-up, which currently is anchored by Hartbreak Films' SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH. This move adds another toon based live-action adaptation to the WB's fall 2001 line-up. The WB has already ordered 13-episodes of the Warner Bros.
Children's animation producer Nelvana has won its lawsuit against Paris-based Editions Mango for the use of Nelvana-owned properties after the two companies' licensing agreement was terminated. In 1994, Nelvana and New York creative consultancy Clifford Ross Co. signed a licensing deal with Editions Mango, allowing the French company to produce and sell books based on Nelvana and Ross-owned characters, including Babar, Celeste, Arthur, Cornelius, Flora and Alexandre.
By knocking the four-week box office champion MEET THE PARENTS out of the top spot, CHARLIE'S ANGELS was truly blessed at this week's U.S. box office. The 1970s TV-show remake, with primary visual effects by Flash Film Works, racked up an amazing US$40.13 million. In other debuts, DreamWorks' golf fantasy, THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE, came in at #3. The links lullaby, with primary visual effects by PDI, grossed an estimated $11.52 million. Falling from fourth to land in sixth, BEDAZZLED danced in with another $4.66 million.
British Culture Secretary Chris Smith was quoted in the LONDON SUNDAY EXPRESS as saying he will issue orders to U.K. TV regulators to cut back on "trashy cartoons" which have flooded the airwaves and replace them with "high-quality educational shows." Broadcasting Minister Janet Anderson told the newspaper, "The government shares parents' concerns that violent and unsuitable material is being broadcast in ever earlier slots." However, some U.K. officials may be uninformed about where the illicit animation is actually coming from.